‘Next fiscal will be economic reform year’

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Jul 9, 2014-

Finance Minister Ram Sharan Mahat said on Wednesday that the next fiscal year would be a year of economic reform, an endeavour which has remained stalled since the early 1990s. Speaking at the 60th annual general meeting of the Nepal Chamber of Commerce (NCC), he added that a number of bills designed to make this happen were awaiting parliamentary approval.

The Electricity Act,  Special Economic Zone Act and Industrial Enterprise Act are among the laws that the government is aiming to introduce as part of the second generation economic reforms. The government plans to enact about one and a half dozen acts and policies under the reform measures.

Mahat said the government had been trying to develop an investment friendly environment in the country through reform measures. “Many large scale projects are likely to start in the next fiscal amid rising business confidence,” added Mahat.

Considering the low rate of output compared to capital investment, Mahat said that there was a need to increase the efficiency of investments in the country.

“The government will bring policy, legal and administrative reforms to improve the efficiency level of investments,” he added.

Inaugurating the NCC’s annual general meeting, Constituent Assembly Chairman Subash Chandra Nembang said that only four to five bills had been registered at Parliament so far. He urged the concerned government agencies to send the rest as soon as possible.

NCC President Suresh Kumar Basnet urged the government to make the laws compatible with the country’s economic policy. “Since the business environment has improved as shown by the sharp rise in the Nepse index, the government should focus on increasing investment in priority sectors and service businesses and promoting exports,” he said.

Similarly, Pradeep Jung Pandey, president of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said the government should target establishing at least one large scale factory in each district.

“The government needs to conduct economic diplomacy in order to promote exports,” he added.

Chief Secretary Lila Mani Paudel called for cooperation between the government and the private sector. “It would help reduce production costs and improve the competitiveness of local products.”

Published: 10-07-2014 09:18

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